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Unformatted text preview: Effects of Travel Technique and Large Displays on Cognition in Virtual Environments Abstract— We preformed two studies to investigate the cognitive effects related to two important dimensions of virtual environment systems: travel technique and display. Options for both elements vary significantly in quality and cost. Our first study examined four different methods of travel in an virtual environment and their effect on cognition. Our second study examined the effects of large displays and large field-of-view on cognition . Both studies employed a between- subjects experimental design to investigate cognitive effects. In each study, users explored a virtual room and answered a set of questions based on Crook’s condensation of Bloom’s taxonomy. The questions were targeted to assess the participants’ cognition of the virtual room with respect to knowledge, understanding and application, and higher mental processes. Participants also drew a sketch map of the virtual environment and the objects within it from memory. Users’ sense of presence was measured using the Steed-Usoh-Slater Presence Questionnaire. Our results suggest that a natural travel technique impacts VE cognition (understanding and application), and that further studies are necessary to determine the effect of display size and field of view . 1 Introduction Virtual environment systems employed numerous approaches to allow users to explore a virtual environment (VE). Large displays, tracking systems, novel interaction devices are all used by the user to more naturally visualize and interact with the virtual world. While much prior research has explored the effect of these technologies on such aspects as memory(Timpf, Volta, Pollock, & Egenhofer, 1992), mental maps (Whitton, Cohn, Feasel, Zimmons, Razzaque, Poulton, McLeod, & Brooks, 2005), presence, and immersion (Barfield, Zelter, Sheridan, & Slate 1995), we aim to investigate a more basic question. Do the common approaches to travel in, and display of, the virtual world impact the user’s fundamental learning of the VE? With the wide range in space, infrastructure, and development costs for many of these technologies, such as Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) and CAVE™ systems, it is important to investigate and identify if there is a cognitive benefit over basic approaches such as fishtank Virtual Reality (VR) and non-headtracked monitor approaches. Numerous techniques have been implemented in VEs to allow a participant to move about a virtual space. In general they can be categorized as either techniques that try to replicate the energy and motions of walking, or as purely virtual travel techniques. Examples of the former include treadmills (Iwata & Yoshida, 1999) and walking in place schemes (Iwata & Fujii, 1996 Templeman, Denbrook, & Sibert 1999). Examples of the latter usually use a joystick to “fly” though a space in a direction specified by either head orientation or a handheld pointer (Bowman, Koller, & Hodges, 1997). All of these approaches assume that the physical tracked (Bowman, Koller, & Hodges, 1997)....
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- Spring '08
- virtual environment, VE, virtual environments, large displays, travel technique